Peter King: Broncos Players Defending Russell Wilson from Critics 'Looks Staged'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 2, 2023

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 01: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos rushes for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Peter King of NBC Sports questioned the sincerity of Denver Broncos players defending quarterback Russell Wilson from criticism in recent days.

In his Football Morning in America Week 17 column, King expressed his belief that the support of Wilson "looks staged" because of the fact that several players spoke out on social media at around the same time.

Offensive tackle Garett Bolles and wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler all stood up for the quarterback over the past week on Twitter:

Garett Bolles @gbolles72

Broncos Country: <a href="https://t.co/3tHYCQKNCK">pic.twitter.com/3tHYCQKNCK</a>

Jerry Jeudy⁴ @jerryjeudy

I ain't gonna keep looking at these false statements about my boii russ man, as a teammate who sees the elite work ethic this man has is incomparable. He got an office because he's committed his life to this game. I never had a teammate who motivate me more then russ 💯 <a href="https://t.co/G8sTe3Hllg">https://t.co/G8sTe3Hllg</a>

KJ HAMLER @Kj_hamler

Y'all really trying to bring this man down. Russ Is the most dedicated and hard working teammate I have had. And y'all wanna bring up this to put him under. Man stop it. 3ski a legend in my eyes. I Understand this season isn't the way we wanted nor anybody wanted. <a href="https://t.co/731VuHfiNK">https://t.co/731VuHfiNK</a>

Jeudy and Hamler specifically fired back at comments made by Broncos legend and Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe on a recent episode of FS1's Undisputed.

Per Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, Sharpe took aim at Wilson and questioned his commitment to being a quality teammate:

"I don't know who the head coach is gonna be, but the first thing you do [is say], 'Russell Wilson, I'm locking this office. You will no longer have an office. All those parking spaces you get [at] the stadium, they're gone too—because you're putting yourself in front of the team.' I said it before, I'll say it again, and I stand by it: You ticked a lot of people off with your attitude, bro. You can come out here and talk about how we're a team and I'm good with my teammates, but deep down inside, they're seething, and I'm gonna leave it at that."

After missing the playoffs in six straight seasons, the Broncos swung for the fences during the offseason, acquiring Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, tight end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock and defensive lineman Shelby Harris.

The move was expected to vault the Broncos into playoff and perhaps even Super Bowl contention, but the 2022 campaign has been a disaster.

Entering the final week of the season, the Broncos are one of the NFL's worst teams at 4-12, and they fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after less than one full season.

Wilson's poor play is a big reason for Denver's lack of success, as he has thrown for 3,241 yards to go along with just 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

The Broncos have little choice other than to try to make it work with him after signing him to a five-year contract extension in the offseason, and whether they are sincere or not, his teammates are seemingly trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.